This week the European Commission is set to publish a previously delayed paper, criticising Member States for unnecessary red tape aimed at firms from other countries. According to reports Member States are singled out as using heavy-handed controls to ensure that foreign service providers find it difficult to access their markets.

Measures include always requiring foreign workers to carry various documentation and an obligation for foreign firms to have both an office and a representative in the host country. These measures are required in EU countries such as Germany, Austria, Greece, Belgium, Sweden and sixteen others. The Commission states that many of the rules are applied disproportionately and there is a general assumption of fraud.

At the moment there are several cases pending and 27 being prepared against Member States who are in breach of the EU's laws on posting workers.